A WINTER'S TALE by Nathaniel Benchley


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A bit of froth on a familiar beach drifting toward the sweet and slick, this is the tale of Dennis Pastor, fresh from a jobless New York, who finds himself in exile on a ""New England island"" in winter, hired to direct an amateur production for the natives. His employer, an elderly Miss Watson, wonders, as Pastor (with visions of a stark production of Ghosts in his head) greets her with tremendous cheer and enthusiasm, if he has quite the maturity for the position. After being firmly informed that he was going to do You Can't Take It With You, Pastor with great trepidations, begins to assemble the cast. There is lovely Lotte Merkle, at odds with her husband and pursued by sex-happy Fred Colter, in turn pursued by Clementine Perkins, wife of a Calamity John carpenter. There is handsome, although slightly buck-toothed Estelle Bowditch, whose husband withdraws his financial support after witnessing her performance as the drunken Countess; former actor and present bar fly Quinn, who coaches the shy druggist in his part by having him shout into a high wind on the beach; young Alice whose arrogant boyfriend is headed for trouble; Nora, Miss Watson's maid, who plays the ballet dancer with unaccustomed verve. Funds are withdrawn, leads are in the hospital or jail, and the theatre roof caves in, but the show goes on, and every Jack finds his Jill. Second rate Benchley but fun withal.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill